Two held for falsely promising jobs at ministries

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Air Force Command logistics assistant Mey Phanith (left) and another 49-year-old suspect were arrested for swindling people out of tens of thousands of dollars with promises of induction into the military framework under the Ministry of National Defence. FACEBOOK

A woman logistics officer from the Air Force Command was sent to court on Monday for swindling people out of 490 million riel ($120,000) with promises of induction into the military framework under the Ministry of National Defence.

A warrant issued by Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Khieu Phalla on July 31 ordered Mey Phanith, a 44-year-old logistics assistant at the Air Force Command, to appear for questioning by Thursday. The warrant identified the plaintiff as Sem Sitha.

Municipal police chief Sar Thet told The Post on Monday that Phanith was arrested on Sunday. “We sent her to court after questioning. Now it’s out of our hands,” he said.

Neither municipal court prosecutor Khieu Phalla nor Presiding Judge Yich Chheanavy could be reached for comment on Monday.

Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha confirmed to The Post on Monday that Phanith had allegedly pocketed more than $120,000 from some 20 victims who hoped to serve in the military framework under the ministry.

He said the alleged fraud began in February last year.

“She processed the paperwork for the victims to enter the army. This is an individual matter, nothing to do with the Air Force Command. We do not protect anyone who breaks the law as in her case. What she did was against the internal statutes of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF),” he said.

In a separate case, the Ministry of Interior detained a man on Saturday for swindling people out of more than 1.5 billion riel with promises of employment at the ministry.

Keng Sokun, the deputy chief of the Interior ministry’s penal police department, told The Post on Monday that the 49-year-old suspect had allegedly deceived his victims by claiming he had close relations with senior government officials.

“He has been summoned for clarification. If he is found to be involved with fraud and breach of trust as alleged, he has to face the court,” he said.

A warrant issued on Friday by Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor Keo Sothea ordered the suspect to appear at the interior ministry’s penal police department by August 26 for questioning concerning fraud and breach of trust. The warrant identified the plaintiff as Mok Chanthy.

Sokun said police were hunting more suspects involved in the case. “Let the police handle it first. We are looking for more of his accomplices,” he said.